Description

    Beautiful Folio Set of Bacon's Works

    Francis Bacon. The Works...With several Additional Pieces, Never before printed in any Edition of his Works. To which is prefixed, A New Life Of The Author, By Mr. Mallet. London: For A. Millar, 1740. First edition in English. Four folio volumes. [8], [14], lxxxii, 394, [38]. 124; [4], 564, [30]; [2], 586, [46; [2], 740, [28] pages. Four engraved frontispieces. Contemporary calf, hinges cracked but cords intact. Front endpapers detached. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    "'For my name and memory,' wrote Bacon in the will which he drew up on 19th December 1625, 'I leave it to men's charitable speeches and to foreign nations and the next ages.' He surely never contemplated that his devotion to science would be held to be indirectly damaging to his character, and that writer after writer would regard his claim to be a prophet of scientific knowledge so super-eminent as to consign to oblivion his equally great claim as a prophet of political knowledge. As his contribution to science rests on his perception of the greatness and variety of nature, so his contribution to politics rests upon his perception of the complexity of human society. In politics, as well as in science, he found himself too much in advance of the times to secure a following. Some men would have grown misanthropical, and would have abandoned the thankless task in despair. It was alike the strength and weakness of Bacon's character which prevented him from doing this. He must strive against such a disaster, must seek help wherever it could be found, must speak fair words to those who had it in their power to assist him, must be patient beyond all ordinary patience, content if he could get but a little done of the great things which he designed, sometimes content if he could have the vaguest hope of being someday able to accomplish a little. As far as science was concerned, all this brought nothing dishonourable. In politics it was otherwise. Power to do good in politics was, according to the possibility of his day, inseparably connected with high place and the good things of the world, to the advantages of which Bacon was by no means insensible. If Bacon never lost sight of the higher object in the pursuit of the lower, if James was to him the only possible reconciler of sectional ambitions, as well as the dispenser of coronets and offices, it was not to be expected that those who watched his progress should be charitable enough to acknowledge these points in his favour. Bacon was too great a man to play other than a second-rate part in the age in which he lived, and he struggled hard, to the detriment of his own character as well as of his fame, to avoid the inevitable consequence." DNB. ESTC t52745. Gibson 256.



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    Auction Dates
    October, 2014
    8th Wednesday
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